The Campo wildfire raging in southern California has destroyed 20 homes and threatened several more in rural areas as firefighters race to control the blaze.
Winds have been gusting to 25 mpg on Monday afternoon in Southeastern San Diego County, where the 2,000-acre fire is slowly working its way through hilly brushlands in the desert area, reports The Washington Post.
The Campo wildfire was just 10 percent contained as of Monday morning, while about 80 homes were evacuated around the Campo Indian Reservation. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Capt. Mike Mohler stated:
“The winds are picking up, but we still have cooler temperatures.”
So far, the fire has completely destroyed 20 homes, damaged 10 more, and also burned 15 outbuildings since it began on Sunday. The nearby community of Pine Valley set up an evacuation center at their high school, while several residents have gathered at the Golden Acorn Casino, which is also serving as the command post for firefighters, to find out if their homes were damaged or not.
North County Times notes notes that one resident, Christopher Kirchner, stated that the place he is renting stands just 200 feet from a home that burned down. Kirchner added:
“I was just talking to some of my neighbors. They were crying and saying they had no place to go. We’ve heard rumors that our place is still standing, but nobody will tell us anything.”
A 150-acre wildfire in Riverside County was burning farther north, but is now 90 percent contained. The fire had been reduced to mostly embers, but it still poses a threat to almost 200 homes near Murrieta if afternoon winds cause it to flare again.
The cause of both southern California wildfires is under investigation.